Carmel’s Māori community came together on the evening of Thursday 26 October to send off the Māori Year 13’s.
This graduation event, called Tu te Ao, was a first for Carmel. “Tu te Ao” means “standing in the world”, which is exactly what Year 13 students will be doing after college. While it is a daunting thought, the evening showed unwavering support from our school whanau.
The new Tu Wahine, Simmone Lawson and Ella Paku, MC’d the event. There was entertainment, plenty of kai and words of encouragement from our Māori community. First, Anahera-Rose Dickson and Tolia Palu performed waiata. Then, Carmel old girls, Te Mihinga and Rose Bennett spoke about reconnecting with their Māori heritage. They both had a beautiful aura and strong sense of self. Later, Kaumātua Jerry Norman spoke about how his passion for the Māori language and culture took him around the world. He showed that learning Te Reo Māori could provide many new opportunities for us in the future. As a final koha for the Year 13 students, we each received a pounamu which was passed around the whānau for blessings.
The Tū te Ao graduation had a strong sense of connection and manaakitanga which strengthened the mana of all the Year 13 girls. Thank you to Matua Maurice who got this event going. To the whānau who came along and brought kai, tēnā koutou katoa. We are grateful to everyone who spoke and to the teachers for their kind messages. Once again I feel excited about the future of Māori culture in Carmel College.
Sophie Farrell, Year 13 – Tu Wahine